Early voting kicks off in battleground Ohio - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Early voting kicks off in battleground Ohio

Voters line up outside the Hamilton County Board of Elections early Tuesday morning Voters line up outside the Hamilton County Board of Elections early Tuesday morning

Voters in the battleground state of Ohio are getting their chance to cast an early ballot for president, U.S. Senate and other races.

Early voting for the Nov. 6 election starts on Tuesday, with Ohioans able to vote by mail or in person without having to give a reason.

First lady Michelle Obama is visiting Cincinnati to kick off early voting. She is speaking at a grassroots event at the Duke Energy Convention Center. Tickets were passed out over the weekend and are no longer available.

Republican Mitt Romney's campaign also planned a get-out-the-vote bus tour in southwest Ohio and elsewhere. The 'Commit to Mitt' mobile phone bank bus will be at the Hamilton County Republican Party headquarters Tuesday morning.

Ohio's elections chief Jon Husted says he's confident the state is prepared. He says local boards have received more than 922,000 absentee ballot applications as of Friday.

About 30 percent of Ohio's total vote - or roughly 1.7 million ballots - came in ahead of Election Day in 2008.

At the Hamilton County Board of Elections, several people camped out Monday night as part of the "Sleep Out to Vote" event. For early voting hours, click here.

Voters must submit absentee ballot requests to county boards of elections no later than noon on November 3, 2012. Forms can also be downloaded at: www.MyOhioVote.com. Voted ballots must be postmarked by the day before Election Day and received no later than the 10 days after the election.

Absentee ballots may also be delivered in person to boards of elections by the close of the polls on Election Day. They may not be returned at polling locations. 

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. FOX19 staff contributed to this report.

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